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What Thread Weights Should I Use For Machine Embroidery?

Thread weights refer to the diameter or thickness of the thread. The higher the weight, the thicker it is. This means that the heavier the thread, the more difficult it would be to sew with it.

Thread embroidery machines are great tools for creating beautiful designs. They allow you to create intricate embroidery patterns without having to sew each individual stitch.

Thread embroidery is a technique where you thread a needle with yarn or other material and then sew through fabric using a series of stitches. This method allows you to create detailed designs and intricate patterns.

Sewing Threads

Sewing threads are available in a variety of colors and types. The most common type is cotton, which comes in either natural (unbleached) or dyed.

Other types include nylon, polyester, acrylic, silk, rayon, wool and bamboo.

Some sewing threads come on spools while others come individually wrapped.


Cotton is one of the oldest fabrics known to man. It’s strong yet soft and breathable. It can also be bleached, dyed, printed and blended into many different textures.

Because it has so much versatility, it’s often used for quilting projects.


Nylon is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum products. It’s stronger than cotton but softer than silk.

As a result, it is frequently utilised in knit and woven fabrics.

Unlike cotton, it does not shred readily when hand-sewn.


Polyester is another popular choice for sewing. It’s durable, easy to care for and very versatile.

It stretches easily and resists wrinkles. It’s often used for clothing and home décor items.


Acrylic is a clear plastic material that’s similar to polyester. It’s usually used for craft projects, such as painting, drawing and decoupage.

It’s also useful for making jewelry because it won’t tarnish.


Silk is an extremely luxurious fabric that’s been around since ancient times. It’s smooth and lustrous, making it ideal for fine garments and accessories.

It’s also highly resistant to fading and wrinkling.


Rayon is a synthetic fiber derived from wood pulp. It’s lightweight and elastic, making it ideal for stretchy materials.

It’s also water absorbent, which makes it perfect for baby clothes and towels.


Wool is a natural fiber that’s warm and cozy. It’s also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial.

It’s often combined with other fibers to create new textures and patterns.


Bamboo is a fast growing plant that’s long lasting and eco-friendly. It’s antibacterial and antifungal. It’s also quite durable. Weaving, knitting and stitching use it.

How do You Choose the Right Thread Weight?

The first thing to consider when choosing the right thread weight is the type of project you’re working on. Fabric, yarn, canvas and leather all have their own characteristics that make them unique.

Knowing what these differences are will help you select the appropriate thread weight for your project.


When selecting a thread weight for fabric, look at the weight of the fabric itself. Fabrics that are thick and heavy use heavier thread weights.

If the fabric is thin, light and delicate, then lighter thread weights should be selected.


Yarn is generally thicker than fabric; therefore, it uses heavier thread weights. Look at the diameter of the yarn before purchasing. Thicker yarns need more thread weight.


Canvas is typically thinner than fabric and yarn. Therefore, it needs less thread weight.


Leather is a tough fabric that requires extra strength. Select a heavier thread weight for leather.

Thread Weight Guide

There are two main categories of sewing thread: monofilament and multifilament. Monofilaments are single strands of thread that run through the eye of the needle.

Multifilaments are multiple strands of thread twisted together to form a continuous strand. Both types of thread are sold by the gram.

The following chart shows how much thread you’ll need based on the amount of fabric or other item you want to sew.

Weight (gram) Needle Size 1/4″ 4mm 3/8″ 5.5mm 7/16″ 6mm 11/32″ 9mm 19/64″ 10mm 31/2″ 12mm 41/2″ 13mm 51/2″ 14mm 61/2″ 15mm 71/2″ 16mm 81/2″ 17mm 91/2″ 18mm 101/2″ 19mm 111/2″ 20mm 121/2″ 21mm 131/2″ 22mm 141/2″ 23mm 151/2″ 24mm 161/2″ 25mm 171/2″ 26mm 181/2″ 27mm 191/2″ 28mm 201/2″ 29mm 211/2″ 30mm 221/2″ 31mm 231/2″ 32mm 241/2″ 33mm 251/2″ 34mm 261/2″ 35mm 271/2″ 36mm 281/2″ 37mm 291/2″ 38mm 301/2″ 39mm 311/2″ 40mm 321/2″

How Do You Know Which Type Of Sewing Thread To Buy?

Monofilament sewing thread is made up of only one thread. This means there are no knots or tangles. It’s easy to handle and comes in a variety of colors, sizes and qualities.

Multifilament sewing thread has many different strands twisted into one. This gives it strength and durability. It’s usually available in a wide variety of colors and sizes.

Monofilament Threads

Monofilament sewing thread comes in a variety of styles and qualities. Some are stronger than others. Here are some examples:

  • PolyesterPolyester is strong and durable. It’s an excellent choice if you plan to wash your garment frequently.
  • Cotton Cotton is soft and comfortable. It’s great for garments that won’t get washed as often.

Multifilament Threads

Multifilament sewing thread comes with a variety of strengths and qualities. They’re available in a wide array of colors, including solid colors, pastels and even fluorescent colors.

Here are some examples of multifilament sewing thread:

  • Nylon Nylon is strong but lightweight. It’s ideal for projects that don’t require a lot of strength.
  • Rayon Rayon is very strong and durable. It works well for items that need to withstand lots of wear and tear.
  • Tencel Tencel is a man-made fiber that feels similar to silk. It’s soft and luxurious.
  • Acrylic Acrylic is strong and durable.
  • Viscose is a synthetic fiber that feels similar to cotton. It’s also strong and durable.

When choosing sewing thread, keep in mind that the more expensive the thread, the higher quality it is. If you have a budget, stick to the lower priced varieties.

But remember that the most expensive thread isn’t always better. In fact, sometimes cheaper threads are stronger than pricier ones.

So, when shopping around for sewing thread, try to find something that fits your project and budget.

Is There Any Difference Between Sewing Thread And Quilting Thread?

Sewing thread and quilting thread are both forms of thread. They differ mainly in their uses. Quilting thread is designed specifically for use in quilt making.

It’s thicker than regular sewing thread, which makes it easier to cut.

Quilting thread is available in various types, such as cotton, polyester, nylon, rayon, acrylic, viscose, polypropylene, spandex and lyocell.

Each type offers its own advantages. The main difference between sewing thread and quilting threads is that quilting thread is thicker than regular sewing thread.

Quilting thread is typically sold by the yard. You’ll want to buy enough to finish your project.

If you sew clothing, you may already know about sewing thread.

If you’re new to sewing, here are some tips on how to select the right kind of sewing thread.

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